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I think most "official" rules will not allow you to do this. (For reference, I looked up the Japanese Mahjong rules from the European Mahjong association here.) In principle, I think swapping tiles that do not change the wait structure would be allowed, but it is impossible to verify. In your example of swapping the 5 for the 8, all that is visible is the ...


According to WWWJDIC, the word is イーチャン, or 一荘 in kanji - read as iichan (although it's unusualy in that it appears to be written in katakana, which I'm guessing could mean that it's a fairly new loanword from Chinese?). There's a JMdictDB entry on it here.

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